Fair Deal for Expats - legal challenge to Juncker
Legal challenge to Juncker’s ban on UK negotiations
A group of British expats has today announced that they are intending to launch a legal challenge against the European Commission at the General Court of the European Union in Luxembourg.
The group is seeking the annulment of a “Presidential Order” given by the President of the Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, after the Brexit referendum on 23 June 2016, that there should be no negotiations with the UK until after Article 50 has been triggered.
The legal challenge is made by a leading pan-European organisation, Fair Deal for Expats, which has been set up to represent the interests of people who live in other EU countries. The Group is raising money for the challenge on the crowdfunding site, CrowdJustice.
The purpose of the challenge is to allow the UK to negotiate freely with the European Commission before Article 50 is triggered, so that the outline terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU can be agreed in everyone's interests and as soon as possible. Around 1.2 million British born citizens live in other EU countries and their lives will be profoundly affected by the outcome.
In a speech made in the European Parliament shortly after the referendum, Mr Juncker declared: “I have completely forbidden - Presidential order, and this is not my style - Commissioners to discuss with representatives of the UK government. 'In or out'; 'leave or remain'. I've told to all General Directors that there cannot be any discussion ahead with British government representatives. No notification, no negotiation!”
Fair Deal for Expats spokesman, John Shaw, said: “People in Britain and across Europe have become accustomed to Mr Juncker’s antagonistic style and bombastic rhetoric. But his dictatorial-style bullying tactics will not be tolerated. Enough is enough”.
Mr Shaw continued: “Mr Juncker is urging Britain to trigger Article 50 sooner rather than later, but he’s not entitled to issue edicts preventing the UK from having discussions with the Commission. He’s forgetting that the UK is still a Member State.”
Fair Deal for Expats are instructing in the challenge litigation specialist law firm, Croft Solicitors, and counsel from Henderson Chambers, Patrick Green QC, Henry Warwick and Matthieu Gregoire.
For press enquiries, please contact Rupert Croft, Laura Nelson or Edward Hazzan at Croft Solicitors on 01242 2858552
Notes to Editors
1. Fair Deal for Expats is an association registered in France. Its current members include UK citizens residing in France, Belgium, Netherlands, Spain, Germany, Republic of Ireland, Italy and Slovakia. The estimated British resident populations of those Member States is estimated by Migration Watch to amount to some 967,000 people. The total number of British born citizens who reside in other member states of the EU is estimated by Migration Watch at 1.2 million. 2. The challenge seek annulment of the “Presidential order” pursuant to Article 263 of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union. Mr Juncker’s letter purporting to be the “Presidential order” was supplied to Fair Deal for Expats on 22 August 2016. 3. The grounds of challenge include that the instruction given by President Juncker is in direct contravention of the principle of sincere cooperation that the Commission is required to abide by, that it has no proper basis and that it discriminates against the UK and its citizens, who remain EU citizens. These considerations, among others, will be determined by the EU’s General Court once the Commission has provided a response to them. 4. Members of Fair Deal for Expats has been given permission by the Court to intervene on behalf of British expats in the separate, current English High Court proceedings as to whether the Government can lawfully exercise Article 50 without an Act of parliament. Those proceedings are due to be heard by the Divisional Court in October with a likely “leapfrog appeal” to the Supreme Court in December.
Fair Deal for Expats launch in Lauzun
14 August 2016 and 17 August 2016 in Lauzun
• Association launches in Lauzun
• Given permission for intervention in critical High Court case on Article 50
August 11, 2016, Lauzun, France.
The High Court in London gave permission for a group of British citizens living in Lauzun, 47410 to intervene in court proceedings in which the court is being asked to decide whether the UK Government may invoke Article 50 of the EU Treaty under its royal prerogative powers, or whether Parliament must first pass legislation authorising the Government to do so. The case will be heard before the Lord Chief Justice in October. Fair Deal has instructed specialist legal advisors Croft Solicitors and barristers Patrick Green QC, Henry Warwick and Matthieu Gregoire of Henderson Chambers. Some of Fair Deal's members have been granted permission to intervene in the case, to ensure that expat voices are heard.
Spokesperson for Fair Deal, John Shaw, said: "Our High Court initiative will ensure that the unique legal issues which pertain to UK expats are presented in the proceedings, the outcome of which will directly affect their lives and the lives of their families. The UK is a representative democracy. It is therefore right that those elected representatives in Parliament have a hand in delivering Brexit. UK citizens who have made the EU their home, many of whom will have families and businesses on the continent, will be affected by the withdrawal of the UK from the EU. It is proper that their concerns and rights are considered during this process."
Meanwhile, Fair Deal is focusing on recruiting more members determined to have a say in their future, reaching out to British expat groups, task forces, communities and individuals across the EU. On Sunday 14th August 2016 Fair Deal for Expats will have a “soft launch” at a stall opposite the halle in Lauzun and you are invited to visit. The formal launch of the campaign is to take place in the halle on Wednesday 17th August 2016.
Spokesperson John Shaw said: "We invite all interested parties to attend. The British government has yet to articulate plans for its expats and it's being reported that the "UK has not worked out what the questions are, let alone found potential answers to how it will leave the EU"(3). It is crucial that we gather information about how Brexit will affect expats across the EU, so that this can be presented in court and provided to MPs, lobbyists and representatives in due course.
"British expats across the EU must speak up now. The more of us that do so, the louder we will be heard. Others across the EU have worked hard to establish groups to deal with the outcome of the referendum. It is crucial that we all unite." Fair Deal for Expats has a new website at www.fairdealforexpats.com where British Citizens residing across the EU can apply to join the membership and provide information about the issues faced by UK expats. Anyone not eligible to become a member is invited to offer their support by donating towards Fair Deal's legal and other professional costs.
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Notes for editors
(1) Launch meeting:
Sunday 14 August, 2016, Lauzun, 47410, France.
Journalists may attend. Please email Carole Jordan (see below) for details.
(2) See, for example, http://www.legalcheek.com/2016/07/brexit-legal-challenge-busiest-court-in-living-memory-hears-judges-say-case-will-be-heard-by-the-lord-chief-justice/ and http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jul/19/government-awaits-first-legal-opposition-to-brexit-in-high-court
For further information please contact Carole Jordan, Fair Deal for Expats